Going to Hungary with HANGARI, 1977-79/2015

AK47:AR15 Play Station L_R

Installation view of AK-47/AR-15, 2000 Play Station, Gusto House, Kobe, Photo credit: Chu Enoki


Bar Rose Chu, 1979 Photo Credit: Chu Enoki

We Captured a small UFO at last!

Chu Enoki, We Captured a Small UFO at Last!

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 16.12.38

Chu Enoki : Enoki Chu, Installation View, White Rainbow 2014. Photo credit: Tom de Gay

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 16.12.56

Chu Enoki

In the mid 1960s, Chu Enoki took part in creative activities as a member of Kobe Japan Zero, an avant-garde artists’ group. Since then, art has been a key part of his life. Becoming detached from the group in 1976, he maintained his career as both an artist and as a full-time technical worker: the latter involved producing bespoke designs and industrial components from metal and resin, processes which feed back into his artwork.

Living through a time of drastic change in society which was brought about by the rapid economic expansion in Japan in the post-war period, and by international tensions from the Cold War, Enoki has continually felt a sense of crisis regarding issues such as the destruction of nature due to urbanization and pollution as well as violence, wars and conflicts. To Enoki, art was a way to express such a sense of crisis and to seek self-assurance.  His work is concerned with both modern society and private life.

The artist’s iconic diptych portraits from 1977 and 1979, with Hangari, or in English ‘half-shaved head’, shows the artist embracing the freedom of artistic expression and language.  His determination to live his life closely tied to art is apparent there. The exhibition title also signifies his “double life” as a family man and an avant-garde artist, which resulted in enriching his artistic creation to a greater degree. At times his practice liberated him from the emotional conflict of living the dual life as a family man and an artist.  “Art has been my weapon in life”, he says.

His work encompasses drawing, sculpture, installation and performance. Through his ethos, LSDF, which stands for Life Self Defence Force, he urges us to protect our lives through our own resources.

Born in 1944 in Zentsu-ji in Kagawa prefecture, where there was an old military base, Enoki grew up being familiar with the sight of military paraphernalia and wartime shelters. As a young boy he was fascinated by weaponry. Since he created his first cannon in 1972, he has “fired” it on various occasions. Through his performances, he suggests that weaponry, when disarmed, can simply be finely engineered and skillfully crafted beautiful objects that have the potential to be used for positive purposes. He celebrates life and encourages people to renew their perceptions.

Selected Solo & Two Persons Exhibition


RPM-1200, Kongobuji Temple, Koyasan
Chu Enoki: Enoki Chu, White Rainbow, London


LSDF-014, Yamamoto Gendai, Tokyo
PATRONE-35, Port Gallery T, Osaka


Stage set design for WHIRLIGIG BEETLE by Performance Troupe TAIHEN, AI•HALL (Itami Municipal Drama Hall), Hyogo


The First C.A.J Artists in Residence Programme Exhibition: Shinohara Ushio & Enoki Chu, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama
For Whom the Cannon Burst?, Capsule Gallery, Tokyo


Unleashing the Museum: Chu Enoki, Hyogo Prefectural Museum or Art, Hyogo


Enoki Chu HAZ, Heat Affected Zone (HAZ), Ashiya, Osaka


Chu Enoki: This Man, Hazardous, Miyanomori International Museum, Sapporo, Hokkaido


Gyu and Chu: Ushio Shinohara and Chu Enoki, Toyota Municipal Museum, Aichi


One Man Show by Enoki Chu, KPO Kirin Plaza Osaka, Osaka


Play Station, Gusto House + Mokuba’s Tavern, Kobe, Hyogo

Guillotine Shear-1250, JR Kobe Station no. 50, Kobe, Hyogo


Tear Off the Skin of Earth, Gakuenhigashi-machi, Kobe, Hyogo


2・3・7・8 TCDD Propagation, Cafe Suzuya, Kobe, Hyogo


LSDF, Utsubo Gallery, Osaka


U-235, Life Self Defense Force, Onishi Bldg., Kobe, Hyogo


Bar Rose Chu, Higashimon Gallery, Kobe, Hyogo


EVERYDAY LIFE/MULTI, Artist’s house, Kobe, Hyogo
Going to Hungary with HANGARI, Budapest/Deprecen, Hungary

Naked Happening, Ginza Pedestrian Paradise, Tokyo

Selected Group Exhibition


Kobe Biennale 2009, Kobe Port Dolphin, Hyogo Museum


ROPPONGI CROSSING 2007: Future Beats in Japanese Contemporary Art, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo


TRACES: Body and Ideas in Contemporary Art, Touring show (The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto / The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo)


Quantum Leap as part of Biwako Beinnale 2004, Omihachiman, Shiga


Vacant Lot “Secret Base”, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi


Seven Artists: Aspects of Contemporary Japanese Art, Touring show (Santa Monica, Museum of Art, California / Portland Art Museum, Portland/ Oregon Art Institute, Oregon / Museo Rufino Tamaya Arte Contemporeano Internacional, Mexico City / The Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans)


Theme Pavilion – Portopia’81 as part of Kobe EXPO, Kobe, Hyogo


ART NOW ’79, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Kobe


ART NOW ’75, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Kobe


ART BY GROUP as part of Kyoto Biennale, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto


Forming “0” (Zero), a drawing research group, with Rei Kamoi, Kiyoshi Furukawa, Kensaku Matsui, and Ichizo Wasa


Medals of Honour (Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon) from the Government of Japan
Kobe City Cultural Prize, Kobe City, Hyogo
The 32nd Iue Memorial Foundation Cultural Prize TV advert award for DMG Mori Seiki Co., Ltd. (Precision Machine maker)
MAM Prize as part of Roppongi Crossing ‘07, judged by the trustees of Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
Kobe City Cultural Encouragement Prize
Blue Mer Prize (Kobecco)

Public Collections

The National Museum of Art, Osaka
Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi
Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto
Hyogo Prefectural Art Museum, Kobe

Public Art Commissions

AMAMAMA, Amagasaki, Hyogo
Spora-go・Bulb-go・Seed-go・Pollen-go, HAT Kobe, Hyogo

Back to list


Warning: Use of undefined constant thumbnail - assumed 'thumbnail' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /homepages/1/d527325666/htdocs/archive2017/wp-content/themes/whiterainbow2014-v1.4/content-artist-single.php on line 42